Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Medicine no cure for eye strain, physician warns

COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME:Ophthalmologists’ eye drops are only a temporary fix. Chinese medicine treats the liver and kidneys, but rest is the only cure

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Medicine is only a temporary fix for the common ailment of eye fatigue due to constant staring at screens, so people must take care of themselves and give their eyes time to rest, China Medical University Hospital traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Ko Cheng-hang (葛正航) said.

Ko said he recently treated a graphic design engineer for whom artificial tears had ceased to alleviate his dry eyes.

The man was a seasoned engineer with a decade of experience under his belt, but he had to spend more than 12 hours every day staring at a computer screen, Ko said.

Ko said the man began experiencing blurry eyesight more than a year ago.

He went to have his eyes examined by eye doctors, but they were unable to help him.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners then told him that overuse of his eyes had caused his liver and kidney functions, the two organs in Chinese medicine connected with the eyes, to become unbalanced, Ko said.

Staying up late and working long hours, as well as eating foods that are fried, roasted or are spicy, can harm the kidneys and liver, Ko said.

Ko said that as the human body ages, the kidney and liver functions deteriorate, causing the eyes to become blurry or to experience dryness.

Ko said that another patient he treated, also an employee at an electronics company, had the same issue.

The patient had to stare at an assembly line all day, and what started out as dry eyes quickly worsened to blurry vision, Ko said.

Usually, most ophthalmologists will prescribe artificial tears or anti-allergy medicines to relieve the symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

However, Chinese medicine practitioners usually prescribe medicine to enhance the liver and kidney functions, Ko said.

Both patients were much better after the treatment and no longer needed to constantly use artificial tears, Ko said.

However, Ko also said that the only way to really cure the syndrome was to give the eyes more rest.

It is best to pause and massage the eyes after using them for an hour to increase blood circulation, and eating deep-colored vegetables are good for the eyes, he added.

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